GW2. How To Fight Ranger. How To Beat Ranger. Class Mechanics. Matchup Guide. Ranger Druid Soulbeast Untamed. Guild Wars 2 PvP 2023.
Your ability to adapt to situations in PvP is not only tied to your knowledge of your class, but also of the classes you will be facing. This is a basic guide to understanding Rangers in PvP so that you can figure out how to fight them without having to learn to play the class entirely.
Every Ranger has a pet companion or two that they can swap between to help them in combat. These pets can be a nuisance as they constantly pressure you, can disable you, and will even soak projectiles or other skills that would otherwise target their owner. There are three different ways to play around a ranger’s pet:
Separating the ranger from their pet can be done by manipulating the ability for the AI to chase you up and down terrain. Pets cannot jump or climb, so if you jump up on terrain the pet will not chase you. If there is an alternate path to get to you, the pet will take that path, but it may be a longer distance. You can manipulate that distance by jumping up and down the terrain when the pet gets near you to essentially make it never reach you. The ranger can control the pet to make it stay near them to more easily protect them, and swapping their pets resets their location. This makes it harder to avoid the pet when chasing the ranger down, but you can engage the ranger when you have cooldowns and then use the terrain to avoid their pet while you stall for those cooldowns to return.
Targeting the pet can be beneficial because pets usually do not evade or move unpredictably. For example: if you have a skill that grants you stealth when it hits an enemy, targeting the ranger’s pet can be much more reliable for landing that skill, whereas the ranger may block, dodge, or move out of the way and deny you the effects of landing it. This also works for lifesteal, maintaining buffs that require you to constantly hit enemies, and even bouncing projectiles. Normally bouncing projectiles are not effective in 1v1s because they stop after there is no other target for them to bounce to, but using the pet as the second target can continue the bounce.
Killing the pet is not the ideal way of handling rangers because of the long term emotional damage, but it is an option for duels against rangers who have plenty of survivability and rely mostly on their pet to pressure their enemy. Rangers have a cooldown to swap their pet. If their pet died before swapping it, that cooldown will be increased. This makes it more likely their second pet will also die because there is more time before they can heal it by swapping. Many ranger traits will trigger when swapping pets and in general having the pet abilities available is impactful, so denying them this can be worth it if you don’t need to invest many resources to kill the pet. If you can hit both the ranger and the pet at the same time with condition damage, then it is usually worth it. Condition damage is much better against pets than power damage because the pets lack cleansing and you can get the full effect of their damage most of the time.
Using a combination of these three methods will help you deal with the pet in situations that occur throughout a match.
- If you start attacking the ranger’s pet, they may swap it prematurely to avoid it dying, preventing them from performing a pet swap burst combo with that cooldown instead.
- Rangers avoid sending their pets on targets that are in the middle of a team fight because the collateral damage will kill their pets, making larger fights a better place to go to when struggling against a ranger.
- If a ranger is in stealth you can track their location by where their pets are. If the pet is attacking you they could be anywhere nearby, but if the pet is leaving then it means the ranger is also leaving the range of how far their pet can be from you. If they swap pet while in stealth, you know that their pet is at their location.
If you manage to get an enemy ranger into the down state, disposing of them involves handling two skills:
Targeted AoE Daze – Stealth, Blind, Stability, Invulnerability, and Ports will allow you to secure your finishing stomp on a ranger. However, their pets can also provide CC, so ideally Stealth and Invulnerability should be used when finishing a ranger.
Pet Revive – After 8 seconds the ranger can start reviving themselves very quickly using their pet. Never leave a ranger in down state because the pet revive will happen faster than some classes can react. You can stop the pet from reviving with CC, but it will go right back to reviving afterwards. Killing the pet will stop it from reviving as well, but the pet can be swapped and revived when the cooldown comes up again. Don’t mess around and finish them quickly.
While you can learn how to play against meta builds, not everyone plays the same builds and there are some intricacies of rangers that may differ from one another. Understanding their traits and how they synergize with their class can help you to fight them.
Line of Sight – Rangers are proficient at many different weapon types, but they often have many ranged projectiles especially from the longbow. Standing behind objects to make them move closer to you can help close the gap.
The most common traitlines that rangers run are Wilderness Survival and Beastmastery.
The elite specializations rangers can play offer much more predictable changes and therefore clearer ways to play around them.
While normally a selfish class, Druids offer a supportive playstyle by entering a new Celestial Avatar form to heal their pets and allies. They have much more CC and immobilize, which even though they sacrifice damage can still allow them to finish off enemies who can’t escape. Try to kill the binding roots they summon to free yourself from the immobilize, or save your cleanses to dodge out of the root.
Although they are better with their allies, they still don’t want to be in big team fights because their pets and they are easy to focus still. Pressure them while they are in their Celestial Avatar because if they are left alone they can freely heal and resustain. Druids are susceptible to burst damage, but win the longer the fight goes on.
No longer can you play around killing a rangers pet when they are a soulbeast, because their ability to merge with their pet fully revives their pet. However, while they are merged the pet is gone anyway.
Many soulbeasts will use the “Sic ‘Em!” skill to increase their damage significantly. If you see this buff on them or the revealed debuff on you or your ally, you know a soulbeast is looking to do their burst and you should play defensively during this time.
While soulbeasts can revive their pet and druids can heal them, untameds have no way to support their pet, making it a viable strategy to kill their pets. However, untamed themselves are usually good targets because they run either low amounts of condition cleanse or are very burst oriented and you won’t want to let them run freely.
Be careful of their combos which they can port to their target with. Stand on terrain if you suspect they are coming to burst you, and always save one stun break to instantly dodge if they do port on you. Avoid wasting projectiles into the green haze that their pets can create.
There is always a potential to beat an enemy either by rotating into better fights or outplaying their mechanics, but these are the main dynamics of how specific classes interact with rangers:
- Thieves are easily pressured by unavoidable damage and pets can complicate things for them
- The long range pressure rangers can provide can often finish off a thief before they can disengage
- Rangers are slippery which makes them harder to chase and not ideal targets for thieves who want to go for squishy targets
- Necromancers are slow and often cannot catch up to a ranger
- Pets can tax necromancers of their life force while the ranger stalls during their shroud uptime
- CC can shut down a necromancer’s damage output
- Ranger pets can remove the Aegis applied by guardians to prevent their more important skills from being blocked
- Guardians can block projectiles
- Rangers often like to be in small fights while guardians in larger fights
- Collateral damage that revenants dish out can often kill pets
- CC and conditions that rangers can put out are effective at debilitating revenants
- Rangers often like to be in small fights while revenants in larger fights
- Elementalists have plenty of projectile block
- Ranger pets can die to the constant pressure elementalists provide
- Elementalists love smaller and more sustained fights even more than rangers do
- Warriors can sustain by landing their skills on the pet even when the ranger is kiting
- Tons of CC will help warriors lock down a ranger to prevent them from being so slippery
- Warriors are mobile and durable enough to withstand a ranger’s harassment